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Decorating

Expert Tips On How To Decorate With Vintage Pieces

Let these tips guide you on how to infuse your hand-me-downs into your modern home and still make them shine

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Original Article: Andrea J. Portugal Photography: Dairy Darilag (Main Photos)

Most people find it daunting to include heirloom pieces or family hand-me-downs in the design of their modern homes. “Sometimes, we’re apprehensive about using old pieces or heirloom pieces because our idea is modern. We throw away what our parents or grandparents give us, and we have this tendency to ‘disrespect’ these pieces,” says interior designer Wilan Dayrit.

However, we can’t deny the sense of charm and interest that family heirlooms can bring to a home, which newly-bought pieces can’t. Here, Wilan offers some tips on how to work with such storied items in a modern setting.

1. Let your pieces float


Set your heirlooms in such a way that they shine in the space and capture the interest of anyone who sees it. In the living area, for instance, you can use sheer white curtains to create an airy vibe that makes room for the heirloom pieces to stand out and take centerstage.

2. Choose pieces with interesting silhouettes


Pieces that came from an entirely different period in time look, in many ways, different from those we normally see in more modern spaces—a quality which makes them all the more enchanting. For example, an old ballerina sculpture in mid-twirl or a hundred-year-old sewing machine can add a layer of soul to a home because of their history and their unique silhouettes.

3. Use heirloom pieces sparingly


Yes, hand-me-downs are great decorative pieces—but make sure you don’t use too many of them in one place. “In effect, they will shine,” Wilan explains. “These are pieces that add value to your home that store bought pieces cannot match. Don’t be afraid to mix them into your modern home.”

This snippet originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of Real Living Magazine.

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